Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Week Three...New Additions

     This week was the start of the summer season and the 90+ temperatures.  For the most part it was an easy going week because of the heat. The cows where not having it with the heat and they spent most of their time laying inside the barn. When this happens more hay is needed for bedding.
  I started incubating chicken eggs on 6/22, the farms current egg layers are getting old and will need to be replaced with new pullets (A hen under a year old). Most of the eggs will hatch mixed breeds in 21 days.  Thirteen of the eggs in the incubator belong to the farms Easter Egger hen that roams the farm with a rooster of the same breed.
     The cows are due to have calves in 2-4 weeks, but we had our first calf born on 6/21 when the temperature was almost 100 degrees out. When a cow is ready to have there calf the first thing they do is try to move far away from the herd. This cow was doing just that by laying out in the pasture in the hot sun while the rest of the herd was laying in the barn. We knew she was ready and we had to start timing when we saw contractions. If a cow is in labor for over two hours then that usually means there is something wrong and a vet should be called. Jeanmarie called the vet to inform him of the cow going into labor and he was in the area so he stopped by. We placed the cow in the squeeze chute, and the vet pulled the baby calf out.  This was my first time seeing a live animal birth.  It was an exciting moment and the feeling you get when the baby calf was born was indescribable.  It is important that the mother cow nurses within six hours. The baby calf receives colostrum from the mothers milk, which contains antibodies that protects newborns from disease.
     I finished the week out doing some general farm cleaning, weed whacking along fence lines, and started building the second chicken tractor. Also we have a new piece of equipment on the farm, a round baler. Now baling hay can get done twice as fast.

Easter Egger nest

While laying down fresh hay this cow decided to lay on top of the entire pile.  She is known as the "Diva" of the herd

First calf of the summer

New round baler

Happy Cows

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